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rank order list: different province vs. home school


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hey everyone, just wondering what factors you considered for ranking different schools? as we all stayed at our home schools for electives this year, i got to know the team really well at my home institution, but it might also be nice to explore a larger city or work in a different environment. for any current residents who had to move away for residency, how did you find your experience? i'd appreciate any thoughts or insight! 

and for the 2021s, best of luck on your remaining interviews we're so close :unsure:

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If you could explain bit more about your specialty choice and career aspiration then it would be helpful. For example if you are matching to FM, it's a quick 2 years, you have the option to settle anywhere so finding a job after residency isn't a concern, whereas if you are matching to something with a tight market and maybe it's expected you do a grad degree and 1-2 fellowships then it'd make a huge difference.

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I applied for a 5-year program, I'm still unsure about where I'd like to practice long-term which is why I thought it might be nice to explore a different city/province. however, do residents typically stay to practice in the province they did their residency in? i'm not sure if this is because they chose to stay there or if it was easier to find a job based on the connections they had made during their time in the program 

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13 minutes ago, fresh prince said:

I applied for a 5-year program, I'm still unsure about where I'd like to practice long-term which is why I thought it might be nice to explore a different city/province. however, do residents typically stay to practice in the province they did their residency in? i'm not sure if this is because they chose to stay there or if it was easier to find a job based on the connections they had made during their time in the program 

In terms of why people stay where they trained I think it's for all of the reasons you listed... some people will put down roots and choose to stay, some people will be offered jobs at the end of residency that are appealing, and some in tight markets may stay out of necessity because it's too hard to find work anywhere else. Also, lots of people rank in order to train where they want to live (or where they already live) so they will make up a significant proportion of those who choose to practice where they trained. 

As mentioned above, in really tight specialties where jobs are few and far between it probably does matter where you train because you might rely more on having those connections to get one of the few jobs available. For other specialties with better job availability there is nothing stopping you from moving to another place to work after residency. While many people stay there are also plenty that choose to move and practice elsewhere either right after residency or after a few years of professional practice. 

I moved for residency (not entirely by choice) and overall it's actually been a really good learning experience. Practicing somewhere else in Canada gives you exposure to having different resources available and different practice standards. Seeing different ways to do things is an important part of learning and going to a new place for residency really gives you the opportunity to do that. Residency is a really unique opportunity to take 2-5 years to try out living somewhere else that is new and interesting with a guaranteed job. If you don't have a really pressing reason to stay in your home province (many people stay for family or for their partner's work and that's very reasonable) and your specialty is one that will have flexibility to move after residency then moving away becomes a cool adventure for a few years. Worst case scenario is you discover you don't like living in a certain place and you move away when you're done training. As a resident you will spend a ton of time at the hospital anyway, so focus on finding a program that is a good fit with a co-resident culture that you enjoy because at least then you'll have some good friends along for the adventure :-) 

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A lot of jobs aren't advertised, so you'll hear them through word of mouth. Also if you apply for a job far away the person on the other end might not know your references whereas local places sometimes it's just a few personal texts between people to confirm you are a good candidate or not. So in that sense location could matter a huge deal.

Also if you want to do fellowships then home field advantage for sure.

Also when people have lived and worked in a place for 5 years you build up inertia against going elsewhere, unless you really had a rough 5 years lol. Like you'll be used to the EMR, know the city and familiar with the hospital so even unconsciously you'll lean towards staying around that place rather than move somewhere foreign. Your spouse, children might also have inertia against a big move because they got used to the school, neighborhood etc.

One small point is some places allow you to moonlight as a resident and make extra cash (sometimes a lot of cash)

Another thing is if you stay at your home school you will likely see a lot of your classmate around. It's a good thing if you like them but if there are some people you really don't wanna see or get referral from maybe it's a good idea to flee haha.

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1 hour ago, fresh prince said:

thank you both for your insight! 

@MSWschnoodle i'm glad to hear it was a positive experience moving away! i was wondering if you found it tough being away from your supports or if you found it was still easy building a new support system in your new province? 

Not gonna lie! It's been really tough at times being away from my family and supports, particularly with COVID because it's limited my ability to fly home at holidays. COVID has also made it harder to meet people and foster new friendships. I have a spouse who moved with me so that was helpful. This is why I emphasize the importance of picking a residency program that has a culture you can thrive in - because your co-residents will likely be the start of your support network in a new place. Then you'll start to meet other people too :-) 

First year residency (pre-covid) absolutely flew by. The year of COVID had some slower periods and became a grind at points but it's still moving fast overall. If you decide to move then take advantage of everything your program and the city it is based in has to offer. I've gotten involved in some interesting research/academic projects where I learned a lot of academic stuff but also learned a lot about myself. I took an online leadership course through CMA during early COVID because why not if you're stuck home anyway and I've gotten involved in teaching medical students (my favourite thing to do). I've learned more about cheese curds than I ever thought possible and I can tell you what 300,000 tulips looks like. I have found staff physicians in my program who know many things I also want to know and make it a point every time I see them to try and download some of their brain into my brain - none of them have ever begrudged being asked questions and teaching even when I'm not on service with them. I have 5 years to be a paid student and I've found a program that encourages residents to shape their own experiences. Would things have been worse if I stayed home? Maybe, I don't know. Would things be better if I stayed home? Maybe, I don't know. Would I have had the same opportunities or motivation to pursue them had I stayed home? Probably not. Would I have found different opportunities at home? Sure, probably. 

Basically I decided if the powers that be at CaRMS were going to force me away from my family for 5 years then I was going to make dang good use of that time and suck every piece of value I could out of it. In the beginning being busy was a survival tactic (distraction from sad feelings of leaving home) but it turns out when pack your life full of interesting and rewarding experiences to make things survivable you also build a life worth living and things become thrive-able :-) If you decide to rank an away program (or if the powers at CaRMS compel you) then it IS possible to move away for residency and have a good experience provided you are willing to put in the effort to build a life worth living, or at least one that is "ok for now". When I am feeling sad about leaving home I remind myself that it doesn't have to be forever - I can go back at the end of residency if I want to, or I can stay here, or I can go somewhere else. 2 years ago when I opened my CaRMS match I would have told you that the first opportunity I had to move home I was outta here... Now in the 2nd year? Ehhhh... I can't say with conviction that I'm moving back. I could see myself staying if the right opportunity is available with the right group of colleagues :-)

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